Every property owner aims at having full occupancy in their rental units. To achieve this goal, you must be ready to encounter different types of tenants. Real estate investors must be prepared to provide a habitable environment to disabled renters.
According to CDC, about 61 million adults in the United States have some disability. The statistics are a clear sign that you will need to work with residents to provide reasonable accommodation at some point in your Atlanta homes—but what's the right approach to a request? Follow these tips from our rental property management experts!
What is Reasonable Accommodation?
According to the Federal Housing Act, property owners must avoid discriminatory practices when owning and operating rentals. Among the various protections is the right for individuals with disabilities to request reasonable accommodation from property owners, including adjustments to practices, services, rules, and policies.
Property owners must make "reasonable and necessary" changes to fit the needs of the residents with disabilities. However, it's critical to make sure that modifications do not jeopardize other renters' safety, cause undue hardships to them, or create a significant financial or logistic hardship for you as the property owner.
How to Deal With Reasonable Accommodation
How can property owners know when accommodation is reasonable for their Atlanta homes for rent? Can anyone make a request? Work with a property manager to navigate requests and make appropriate updates.
Who Can Request Reasonable Accommodation in Housing?
Any prospective renters who deal with a disability can request reasonable accommodation within your Atlanta homes for rent. A tenant can be considered disabled if they have a mental or physical impairment that limits one or more of their life activities.
While many disabilities can be physically apparent, some impairments are not. In some cases, property owners can request a written record to validate an impairment and justify that the modification is directly related to their issue. However, be careful asking a resident to confirm they have a disability without consulting a lawyer or property manager first.
Your Rights as a Property Owner
Although the law focuses on disabled renters, you also have certain rights as a property owner in Atlanta concerning reasonable accommodation and the modifications you must make. By knowing your rights, you can work with residents to find appropriate solutions to requested medications that keep your properties safe while addressing their needs.
Some of the vital things to consider include:
- Is the requested change related to the resident's disability? Property owners don't have to comply with requests for changes that are unrelated to a person's impairment.
- Are you dealing with multiple requests at the same time? It's important to consider and respond to each one of them on a case-by-case basis. However, if one or two modifications resolve multiple requests, property owners can consider those updates resolved with appropriate documentation and communication with residents.
- Is it cost-prohibitive? In some cases, you can decline to incur the costs associated with reasonable accommodation if the cost is excessive. Property owners can receive some federal assistance to offset costs when making the necessary accommodation changes to your rental property. The renter can pay for the modifications if it's critical for their experience in your rental.
- Is there a simpler solution? Your job is to provide reasonable accommodation. If a renter requests something expensive and creates problems for other residents, work with them on a compromise. Addressing their needs shouldn't inconvenience other residents or be the most expensive solution available.
- Does it comply with the ADA (Americans With Disabilities Act)? A resident might want a modification, but make sure it complies with the ADA before putting it in place. Work with contractors who understand permitting for work that accommodates residents with disabilities.
It's important to follow the law when handling modification requests, but you don't have to do it on your own! Work with an Atlanta property manager to navigate requests and address reasonable accommodation for your rentals.
Hire a Property Management Company to Protect You and Your Atlanta Homes from Liability
Familiarizing yourself with all the legal regulations requires a lot of dedication. If you have a full-time career or a busy schedule, dealing with reasonable accommodation and managing renters can be challenging! However, being on the wrong side of the law or can lead to lawsuits and lost income.
If you're not sure what to do with a requested modification, let Renters Warehouse Atlanta help! We can handle every aspect of your Atlanta homes for rent, including managing residents and reasonable accommodations. Our experts follow the law and stay up to date on all Fair Housing regulations when managing residents. We also understand how to work with renters who have an impairment to make sure they are safe and comfortable in your rentals. Let us know if we can help you deal with reasonable accommodations—now or in the future!
What should you look for in a property manager? Find out when you download our free guide!